By Darrell Todd Maurina
Bikers and motorcycle aficionados lined Clovis’ downtown streets Saturday for music, food, biker fashion, motorcycle stunt shows and the chance to see and compare hundreds of motorcycles in one place.
“This is cool coming back to my hometown; this is awesome,” said Sammy Aye, who left Clovis 17 years ago and only recently moved back.
“I’ve been doing (biking) for years, and it’s just great to come back to Clovis and not get run over by cars,” Aye said.
Aye had many companions filling the car-less downtown streets — at least 330 registered motorcyclists, according to Sarah Kuhns, general manager of High Plains Harley-Davidson. Since many bikers came with spouses or families, Kuhns said she thought at least 700 people had turned out by late afternoon and she expected more by Saturday night’s street dance.
“This has been going wonderful,” Kuhns said. “Anytime we get motorcyclists together it promotes the entire sport.”
Many rode long distances to Clovis — which is just what past Chamber of Commerce president Skip Overdier wanted.
“How many people here are not from Clovis?” asked Overdier during a break in the events.
Listening to whistles and cheers from the crowd, Overdier smiled.
“That’s why we do this, to show our town to all of you,” Overdier said.
Among the visitors were the Team Lewiston stunt bikers, who included Autumn Slayton, a 22-year-old studying at the University of New Mexico who made motorcycle safety her platform while competing as Miss Roswell in June’s Miss New Mexico pageant.
Even for stunt motorcyclists like herself riding over cars, vans, and large concrete obstacles, Slayton said good biking skills and common sense keep her safe.
“We haven’t had any major injuries in years and years here in New Mexico competitions,” Slayton said. “The reason tricks are so cool is any age can do it. You can ride anything you can get a motorcycle across.”
Others liked watching a fashion show with 20 local men, women, and children modeling leather and other apparel for motorcycle riders, but still more said they came for the music. Participating bands included Marshall Law and Johnny Mulhair and the Fun Brothers as well as Jackie Haney and Friends.
“I think it’s a big benefit for Clovis to be fortunate to have such a platform as this for people who like this music,” said Clovis resident Paul Saiz. “A lot of people out there want things to do.”
“It’s a lot of guys having a good time,” agreed Rick Cornelison. “Having Johnny Mulhair and Jackie Haney here is just outstanding.”